Afterlife Ideology: An Examination of Indian and Egyptian Beliefs

931 (2 pages)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only
No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

The ancient Egyptians believed that in order for a deceased person to live a happy afterlife they needed all the same possessions that they enjoyed during their earthly life. The Great Pyramids of Egypt, which were built in 2600-2550 BCE, were the most famous burial sites that we can still study today. The Egyptians put a great deal of emphasis on the afterlife and believed the noble kings and queens of their society deserved the most lavish burial sites that man could build. Egyptian pharaohs were believed to be the sons of the all-powerful Sun God. Because of this, their tombs needed to reflect the important role they carried in the society. The pyramids were located in necropolis and were oriented towards the sun to show their devotion and praise to the Sun God. The largest pyramids were built for pharaohs; just to give some perspective, the largest pyramid, the pyramid of Khufu was 775 feet along one side of the base, 450 feet high, and used about 2.3 million stone blocks, which weighed about 2.5 tons each. Ancient Egyptian laborers built these pyramids by hand, so one can imagine the amount of respect the Egyptians had for their deceased leaders. Even more impressive than the outside of the pyramids is what lies inside. Inside the pyramids were chambers, or tombs, which were extravagantly stocked with furnishings and amenities. The Egyptians believed the afterlife was similar to this life and that the dead continued to “live” in a sense, in their tomb, so they needed furnishings like those they used when they were alive. The Egyptians believed a human soul possessed both a ba and a ka. The ba was depicted as a human headed bird, and was believed to fly away from the body as the human took his or her last breath. Then, after the body was mummified, seventy days later the ba would return hungry and thirsty, so the tomb was filled with provisions such as water, wine, dates, cakes, and even dehydrated meats. The ka was believed to be the mental aspect of the human’s soul, and was believed to dwell in a lifelike statue of the deceased, which would also be placed in the tomb. Provisions for the ka included chairs, a bed, chariots, models of servants, combs, hairpins, and even games for entertainment. It is evident that the ancient Egyptians believed that the dead was not really fully dead, but rather just living in the afterlife and needed the same amenities they had when they were alive on earth. They had respect for their leaders, and treated them like royalty even in the afterlife because they were believed to be the sons of Gods.

Somewhat similar to the ancient Egyptians, Indians also believed in a monumental resting place to honor their deceased kings and queens. The Taj Mahal built in 1632-1654 in Agra, India was the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal and was also a monument to the greatness of her husband, Shah Jahan. The emperor loved her dearly and wanted the monument to be built in her honor. He wanted the tomb of his beloved wife to represent a sort of Paradise, which he believed would be her resting place in the afterlife according to the Quran. The Taj Mahal sits at the north end of a walled and gated garden. The gardens symbolize the holy Paradise and were earthly re-creations of it. The Taj Mahal sits on thirty-five acres of land and is designed to be perfectly symmetrical and look exactly the same no matter what side one is looking at it from. Canals divide the thirty-five acre garden into four equal squares with a large reflecting pool in the center. Those four squares are further subdivided into fours again. The canals symbolize the four rivers of Paradise in the Quran. The Taj Mahal is a compact, symmetrical structure that built on a raised platform and surrounded by four minarets. The huge dome dominates and unites the entire building, even though the individual windows, arched portals, and porches maintain their own identity within the structure. Indians believed that the soul of the deceased would go on to be with the holy creator, Allah, in Paradise while the human body would stay on earth no longer living. The Shah built the Taj Mahal with the idea in mind that it would symbolize the throne of Allah. It is evident that the emperor loved and respected his wife dearly, so much so that he wanted to dedicate a palace for her to be kept in as her final resting place after her death. The Taj Mahal somehow seems light and airy, almost like it is floating in the reflection of the pool, even though it is an impressively massive structure. This was probably a symbolic tribute to the elegance and grace of the emperor’s wife, while still being able to be her husband’s rock. It was said that she was his trusted advisor, so she was most probably the person who was there for him in times of great stress. The Taj Mahal is decorated lavishly inside, with inlaid carved floral designs with onyx, red sandstone, agate, jasper, cornelian, lapis, coral, jade, amethyst, green beryl, and other semiprecious stones. The beautiful colorful stones on the inner walls of the Taj Mahal seem to be another reflection of the Paradise gardens outside. The emperor cared for his wife and wanted to honor her in a way that would capture her femininity, elegance, grace, and strength and he accomplished that with the beautiful Taj Mahal.

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
Afterlife Ideology: An Examination of Indian and Egyptian Beliefs. (2020, July 22). WritingBros. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
“Afterlife Ideology: An Examination of Indian and Egyptian Beliefs.” WritingBros, 22 Jul. 2020,
Afterlife Ideology: An Examination of Indian and Egyptian Beliefs. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jun. 2024].
Afterlife Ideology: An Examination of Indian and Egyptian Beliefs [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Jul 22 [cited 2024 Jun 17]. Available from:
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges